tv [untitled] November 11, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PST
process, we would not have had a problem but that we now think we have. i think the process will give the city the protection it needs without tying its hands to rule that we may find to be unduly restrictive in some circumstances -- circumstances. good afternoon. i am the director of research and planning of the college of the arts located in the neighborhood. we have been in front of you before to speak in favor of this and we appreciate the work that the staff and the commission have done. it is a fully accredited nonprofit college of art and design found that in the aftermath of the great earthquake and fire. as you well know, innovative
economies are fuelled by intellectual capital. like centers of innovation, san francisco draws much of the capital from the rich network of colleges and universities. these local colleges and universities compete to attract students from across the nation and around the world, coming here to pursue their studies and lots their careers. we are not competing with each other locally, it is outside the bay area. since they compete regularly, the art institute of chicago, both of which have portable housing with their admission offers. since the trouble here without certainty of where they will live, they end up competing with everyone else for the limited supply of rental housing often occupying family size rental units with multiple, unrelated young adults.
with 100,000 students seeking accommodations, you could imagine the impact this is having on the housing stock. welcoming housing students while they pursue their education should not result in the displacement of existing residents. these functions should be able to coexist and flourished together and think this legislation shows how to do that. other creative economy cities have recognized this and adopted policies to promote the building of student housing. boston had that for the past 10 years. since those students are not taking rental units out of circulation, boston has, in effect, created more housing stock out of their existing supply. it is an incredible success story that we can emulate here. we will approve these amendments and thank you for your work on this.
commissioner miguel: is there additional public comment? >> thank you, commissioners. i want to thank the staff for bringing forth this very good legislation. i wanted to speak in support regarding the f.a.r. downtown. it applies to housing projects as well as commercial projects. the bill to the height and bulk limits, you have to buy tdr's or a bonus of some kind. you don't have to buy them to build on site units. i suggest that the same ought to apply here. in your definition of student housing, and you say that the institution that runs the student housing must certify that at least 30% of their
students are low-income. i would suggest you provide an -- provide a bonus for the student housing so it is equivalent to what market rate housing gets a bonus for. at least 30% of the square footage that must be occupied, you don't have to go on the market to build a 30% of the square footage that must be occupied for low-income students. it must be a fair manner have not penalizing the students, but it is a very good location for student housing. it would become an important incentive to provide the equivalent.
>> the afternoon. in looking at this, it seems like this is a very positive thing to do. saving the private residence as it is. one of the things that we have considered going forward, and what will be done in regard to past housing that is lost. some of the things, the academy of arts. perhaps you might start thinking about that. in regards to this proposal, i think we like it very much because it preserves housing. commissioner miguel: is there additional public comment on this item?
>> commissioners, i am from the pacific heights residents' association. we believe that the best overall policy would be a simple declaration to preserve the existing housing. the only policy objective would be to conserve existing housing stock. we have been very concerned about the amount of residents that have been taken by student housing and we believe that the definition of student housing should not permit and the continued removal of rental apartments for families and residents by conversion to student housing. many affordable rental units have been converted to dormitory facilities, and these units represent largely what would be
affordable rental units for families and residents of san francisco. commissioner miguel: is there any additional public comment on this item? public comment is closed. commissioner antonini: i want to thank the staff for this issue. i do have some problems with parts of it. what we are doing is creating a new category of housing that doesn't presently exist. student housing is considered in the general housing market. what we are doing is further restricting this category that we restrict regular restrictions on other housing. i think that is holding it to a higher standard. within dakota, we have protection to get its units lost by the demolition, conversion,
and will require a conditional use for four units or more, correct me if i am wrong. and below that amount, it is subject to mandatory discretionary review. they're plenty of projections, have the proper amendment is to require additional use for all conversions of existing housing into the category that will be defined in the future as a student housing. the way it is now, it tends to favor one class of resident over another. they do require housing and to give preferred housing to other residents is probably not a good way to pursue things.
i think what the impetus of this legislation is to promote the building of new student housing or the conversion of retail or unused housing into student housing rather than to put protections against -- i feel the city should center its acquisitions rather than more restrictions on private markets. what we have done is driven the prices up rather than a prohibition it will require mandatory conditional use
currently, they are defined as housing and through a lot of reasons they don't have anyone in them. these things that come into this category, the historic factors that will, i think, in the future, cause the housing stock to be uninhabitable and the marketable. we could open up a lot more housing. there could be situations where an owner will come up and build compensatory housing to replace that stock and put new housing in that will help through the
loss of the rental units. i am not saying this would be a requirement, but this would be another way. i am not saying that this is necessarily a good application for student housing, but there may be some instances where very large single-family homes might serve as a student housing in some instances with the conditional use process and the consent of the people around there. as was pointed out by mr. o'brien, the university could acquire housing that is presently de facto student housing. they have been occupying these places for many years and and often decades. and there are a number of instances where we would be able to take or grant a conditional use.
overall, this legislation would have the effect of discouraging the conversion of housing into the new category of student housing and pushed universities and institutions toward building more. it would not be part of my amendment i am receptive to the idea of an f.a.r. bonus downtown. i'm not sure you have to tie it into an income test, all students do that regardless of their income level. i don't think you want to restrict it to institutions that demonstrate 30% students of a lower income necessarily. in general, bonuses for building student housing would be helpful. and finally, the eastern neighborhood situation is
probably not appropriate for us to deal with right at this time, but i hear what is being said it might be something that they may want to -- i will be making an amendment in the future. commissioner borden: i am supportive of this legislation, it goes and the right direction. i am somewhat receptive to what commissioner antonini mentioned, but i would want to put some parameters around it. there are probably instances that might make sense to -- i can think of a building where i used to live in the marina that for a long time was one person living in the whole building. i can think of other buildings
that are somewhat empty and could potentially be the type of place where you might think of the for student housing. i am not sure why this large building on the corner is vacant, but i know that we have an issue with student housing in the city. a lot of students can't afford to the regular rental rates of apartments in the city. it is very expensive. the average 1-bedroom apartment is $2,500 a month and is not exactly affordable even for an individual, let alone a student. my concern would be to put parameters around will be the condition, sort of like what we have done with building unit mergers where we spelled out of the situation by which this makes sense. in some cases, it is owned by the same party, vacant for a certain amount of time. i know we haven't really thought it through and a think we would
need to do that to make sure that we don't have unintended consequences. i would like to be able to be supportive as opposed to having an outright prohibition. i recognize in a lot of ways this is response to a particular bad actor and they don't care what the laws are. they seem to do what they want regardless of what city policy happen to be. i like the idea of the f.a.r. bonus. data around student in come is flawed because it depends on if a student applies as an individual or if their parents can come is taken into consideration. it could be that a student of themselves are poor. it might lead to data that is skewed. looking at how you might do the best makes sense, but not tying it to the 30% below market rates
or low-income requirement because student data is misleading in terms of how students file their own taxes or their parents file their taxes. otherwise, this is a step in the right direction and i am excited that i have a legitimate place where we can encourage student housing. the challenge is a lack of land and proximity to the university's where they currently are. having housing there might make some the most sense. i can't think of where you will have new opportunities, so i think about where the schools are located, things like that. i can understand why it might be worth considering. commissioner sugaya: just to
make it public, the bad actor is the academy of art university. i have a question for staff. if this passes at the board of supervisors whether it is prohibitive foor cu, how does it affect the academy of art holdings with respect to properties they have illegally converted? >> my understanding is that if this passes, the academy of art will still need to go through and get entitlements to proceed with what they have already proceeded with or intend to do in the future. it will be prohibited from converting existing housing to student housing. they would be required to go through the cu. commissioner miguel: we would not be able to make it
retroactive? >> that's right. >> several buildings have not been entitled correctly. honda would have to come back for approvals. it is a question of them getting the entitlement to begin with. commissioner miguel: can we apply prohibition to the properties that they own? >> jube, because they have not received entitlements to convert both buildings. >> so on geary street where they own and building that has been converted from 24 units into student housing, that the academy or one of the entities owns -- if this passes, what the consequences -- if we stay with prohibition in not cu process?
does that mean they cannot use the building for student housing any longer? >> if it was a residential use and not in hotel -- that is a separate issue, but if it was the residential use, it would be a case for enforcement to follow up on. >> a number of people have mentioned boston. are you familiar with the program in that city that has supposedly built 10,000 student housing units? >> as a familiar only on the service level, not in detail. i want to highlight that our ordinance is intended to encourage the production of a new student housing and new units, new construction, that is why we focus on providing incentives for new construction, including an exemption from the inclusion ary housing fees for pretty much any student housing
project. technically the existing ordinance passed in 2010 examined -- exempt student housing to least 30% of the beds for students to qualify for any loan, grant, or aid. so there's no income threshold. commissioner sugaya: the do you know the city of boston or whatever public entity it might be actually provides subsidies or money? >> that, i do not know. i apologize. commissioner sugaya: that is all. thank you. i guess, one quick observation that i am an old guy. i went to school when institutions actually build their own housing. it has always been surprising to me that schools do not do that anymore apparently. and all of the sudden, you know, everyone is asking the city to
provide the incentives and the, whatever you want to call it, to, you know, build a new student housing in the private sector. and -- i do not know, it just seems weird to me that all of these seven institutions are asking us to, you know, provide incentives up to 30% to have the private sector build housing for them. i am not a real estate person. i never worked at an institution. and the idea that an institution would suddenly somehow decide to buy an existing building that happens to be populated by students, why would they do that? there is an existing landlord. they do not have to do anything to the students are living there. why wouldn't is it tuition go
out and purchase a building to do that, except for the academy of art, of course. i am is perfectly happy the way this is currently written. the >> may i respond to one point that you may. the one to point out that the housing element of the general plan does call for institutions to construct -- educational institutions to construct new housing to provide for their students. it should be defined in their policy 1.9 -- to their imp's. it is policy 1.9, to meet the housing demand that they generate, particularly the need for lower housing income workers and students. that is why we really focused on providing incentives for the production and new student housing, rather than conversion of existing housing stock. commissioner sugaya: thank you.
very important. >> a comment regarding the need for a cu in the eastern neighbor of the. i know you want to let that plan settles in, so to speak, but this seems to me be, to me, a somewhat minor change. >> i think in a general sense, the department would agree. however, the cu for student housing within certain districts in the eastern neighborhoods was brought up through the eastern area never had plans process by surprise are maxwell. because that requirement appeared as part of the eastern neighborhoods plan, we feel that we should wait until we review the plan as a whole, after it has been in effect for five years. i do not think the planning department would object to removing the cu requirements in those districts provided there has been no undue pressure. but that is why we wanted to hold off and wait for that time.
president olagu>> thank you. in general, i am in support of the legislation as it stands. i would not object to the change in the f.a.r., and i would not object to agenda and the eastern neighborhood's cu. but i believe we should wait a bit. code section 317, f1, that you handed out, i like, as well as the clarification language. in understand that the arguments against absolute prohibition and allowing for a cu, but i also understand the other side. and i believe that, as if this,
it is more incentivizing, if there is such a term, for new construction than if a cu was in effect. we do not have enough regular housing. there may be apartment houses in the marina. there may be other places. i cannot tell a property owner what to do with their property, nor do i want to. if i want to keep it vacant, we would start in all over the city, block-by-block. i am not sure that that is what we're here to do necessarily, as long as it is not an actual plight of the neighborhood. i am perfectly satisfied as it is, because, to me, it does incentivized new housing, which is what i would like to see. commissioner antonini: a couple comments with regards to comments by commissioner sugaya.
i can tell you i night -- in the 1960's, almost every graduate program in san francisco did not provide housing for their students. and, you know, i am a product of that with dental school. sam was true with all the ucsf programs. i think that is still the case, largely. in the same is true, so even a place like san francisco state, which does have some storage -- some dormitory space, but only for small percentage of their student body -- many of the term of -- many of them are commuter students. it is not always the case that live with their parents. they're also taking of housing stock. i do not think it ever was a situation where, you know, colleges always provided all the housing for all their students. there were some colleges years ago that required undergraduate students to live with in student housing, but that has also largely disappeared. i did want to talk to the
representative from usf that i think spoke earlier -- sorry, i do not remember your name. if the language was proposed that was adequate -- and it was adequate to meet your concerns and that residential uses have beesuch by the fine -- by the time the first certificate of occupancy is issued in new construction shall not be converted to student housing. is that going to address your concern or not? >> tell you the truth, i am not sure i fully understand what that means. it does not sound like it. commissioner antonini: let me ask staff, because i need clarification on that, too. what we're concerned about is the mine in the pipeline projects that are duly entitled, are they going to be subject to this or not?
>> i do not think this language would address concerns raised by usf. it does address concerns raised by projects that have been entitled, night -- not yet constructed. perhaps waiting for financing. we did not want to include student housing at this time prior to construction. we wanted to provide the way for negotiations to continue between institutions and developers. there are a number of projects in the pipelines or that had even already been entitled. i also just wanted to clarify that we're not in any way trying to prohibit individual students from occupying individual apartments. we're more concerned about the sort of wholesale, cannibalizing of larger buildings by an institution. and at any point in time, any owner of a single-family dwelling or an apartment building can read and to individual students. the definition kicks in when the owner or the comptroller of the
property is a secondary institution. that is the difference. we're not trying to prevent students from occupying any residential use in the city. commissioner antonini: ok, thank you. i see that other commissioners have comments, but i was going to make an amendment to the existing legislation. we can wait. it does not matter, i am going to make it anyway. >> of the commissioners do not mind, i have had some conversations with someone who was not able to get here until just now and turned in a speaker card and has some comments on this item, and i am going to ask brad paul to come up for just a moment. >> thank you. i am sorry i did not get here sooner. sooner. i had a prior commitment.